Apple (Not So) Genius Commercials
Once upon a time like many people in the design industry I was an Apple person. I still used PCs and came to the conclusion that PCs and Macs were both good in different ways and for different things, and that technical people would enjoy PCs and Creative People would enjoy Macs. This was the status quo. I am both technical and creative so transitioning back and forth wasn’t a big deal for me.
Over the years that changed. I admired Apple for their design sense, their marketing and their product aesthetic, but became increasingly less impressed with the products performance and a lack of the ability to adapt and customize it to suit my ever changing needs. Price also became an issue. But I always felt they understood and respected their customers, particularly designers until recent years.
These series of Apple Genius Ads made it very clear to me, and a number of people in the industry that have come out about it, that Apple has really lost touch with what people like about them.
They’ve become like the cute quirky girl that you date, then one day when everyone else realizes she’s hot instead of just the art club nerds she changes, gets full of herself, but you put up with it because she’s somehow become even prettier and you don’t want to feel like you’ve taken a step back, while at the same time knowing you deserve better…
Well maybe that is just me. LOL. In any case I’ve posted the ads my critiques on them and how they fail to communicate the Apple Brand Values. And by the way to the Fanboys who want to start a flame war I OWN A MAC PRO, and I worked on Mac’s exclusively when I worked with the Ad Agency and when I was in college, so yes I know exactly what I’m talking about.
Also this an interesting article where the Apple company Chairman says that Apple Needs To Be Less Arrogant.
Mac Basically Ad:
In this ad the Apple Genius encounters a man who claims to have purchased a Mac only to find out its not even close to a Mac. The concept is insulting to a Mac owner, because Apple products are supposed to be iconic. Its insulting to the general audience who has seen Apple’s marketing for years and couldn’t possibly confuse a Mac with anything else.
Add to this it doesn’t redeem itself in an obvious fashion by having the Genius show off a Mac and pitch why there is no comparison between it and a competing product.
Mac Labor Day Ad:
This commercial while quirky still manages to drop the ball. It would have been more effective had they actually been making the Photo Card on a Mac while outside the delivery room. At least then they could show off the product or even have the Genius snap a photo of the newborn and bring it into iPhoto via iCloud to send out to the family… showcasing how the products are intended to work in every day life and making the product the hero.
Mac May Day Ad:
Instead of showing off iMovie and how easy it to use and how great the interface looks, we barely even see the Mac itself. Yet again it makes the Mac owner look incompetent and defeats the brand value of Apple products being easy.
The things these commercials do wrong: (This is my opinion)
- Does not show case the Apple Products. Apple products are beautiful, well designed, and aesthetically pleasing. So why not show them off when you have the chance.
- Does not communicate the Apple Brand Values: Apple products are beautiful, Apple products are easy to use, Apple products are iconic and unmistakable, Apple software is convenient and easy to use to do create things.
- Talks about iMovie and iPhoto but doesn’t showcase them and their beautiful interfaces and features.
- Has no message for the younger audience that represents new market share.
- Alienates older audiences by making them look unsophisticated and not tech savvy.
- Portrays Apple customers as being generally ignorant about their own products.
Apparently I’m not the only person who feels this way. Alex Falcone of AdNauseum sums it up very well in this video: